LOW LIGHT is this week’s topic for Pet Photography 52 Weeks. For many years, I’ve always admired the drama of low light and thought I’d need so much equipment to do it. Not so. For the cat photo below of my sweetheart Momi, I put a piece of seamless black paper on the wall, had my TD6 continuous light stand with only one light on at the left of this photo, and turned off all the lights in the room. Of course, the cat was very cooperative. And Voila! There’s my girl. To me, pure drama.
At about the same time as the above photo, I put my Chloe girl on the bench with the same set up to see how she’d look. While there is drama, I really love the cat’s photo because it’s black on black with those beautiful golden eyes.
This week’s theme for the Pet Photography 52 Weeks group is Urban. The dictionary definition is “of, relating to, or designating, a city or town.” I live in a small southern town on the eastern shore of Mobile Bay and I chose to escort my Chloe around town at various spots. Trying to get a clean shot can be a bit of a challenge when the background one way is cars and busy streets, while the other way is a parking lot. In addition, it’s equally challenging to take photos and hang on to a dog who’d rather explore her surroundings. But, I managed a few. Opening the aperture wide to get a really blurry background helped eliminate – somewhat – the unwanted stuff.
The photo below is several months old. I took it in Canada when I was mentoring with Scruffy Dog Photography. This lovely old girl is Charlotte who, I believe, is about 13! This shot was taken in an alley between two old brick buildings. Very Urban.
I was recently accepted into this group – Pet Photography 52 Weeks – that, hopefully, will encourage me to challenge my photography skills. This week’s assignment is “Depth of Field”. While many think that depth of field is when you have a very blurry background, that’s only one aspect of it. That is shallow depth of field. When everything is in focus, from foreground to background, that’s deep depth of field. As a pet photographer, I always strive for shallow as it will highlight the animal and, at the same time, blur the background or make it go out-of-focus. Many things can affect the depth of field. Normally, with a wide aperture (f-stop is small number), the better able one is to get that shallow depth of field. Landscape photographers want the photo to be in focus from foreground to background, so they opt for a smaller aperture (f-stop is larger number). That’s only one small aspect of depth of field, but it’s a start.
These three photos are of my dog, Chloe. I have two dogs, but I use Chloe most of the time for practice since my other dog is afraid of the camera. It’s November here in Alabama and some flowers are blooming, but they won’t last too much longer. We have knock-out roses in our backyard, so I put Chloe in front of each color – rosy pink, light pink and white – before they all start to die. I used my 70-200mm lens with an aperture at f3.5. Distance is also important in determining depth of field. Since I wanted a shallow depth of field, I placed Chloe about 3 feet from the bush, and I myself had to go back another 6-8 feet to get as much of her as I wanted. I might have been able to put Chloe a little bit closer to the bushes, but you get the idea.
This next picture was taken several months ago while I had Chloe tied to one of our front trees. It was sunset and I was facing in the setting sun’s direction. I again used my 70-200mm lens with an aperture at f3.2. I simply LOVE this picture with the grass so totally blurred as it does not indicate at all that it’s grass.
Click the underlined link to Cincinnati pet photographer, Suzi Pix Photography who will show her examples of this week’s depth of field project.
Those in the Gulf Coast Area, if you would like a professional photo of your 4-legged friend, click here at Ono Pet Photography to get the ball rolling. Have a happy holiday!